I am applying to B-schools right now. I am female, 30 years old, Hispanic, and I have worked in market research in Spain for the last three years. I attended a competitive liberal arts college in the US and I have a 3.85 GPA (My major was Sociology). I also have a Masters degree in Sociology, with a 3.8 GPA. I am taking the GMAT next week and, from my practice tests, I expect to score around 680-700.
My Sociology major and job experience have provided me with a strong quantitative foundation.
I was born in Latin America but I am a US citizen. I am also a citizen of Spain and I have extensive international experience (I speak three languages). I have also volunteered for immigrant causes for many years.
My career goals are related both to my experience and my background: I want to move into consulting, in particular diversity consulting. This field consists in helping companies to have a more diverse workforce, helping with the integration of new ideas, etc. I know this field is narrow, so I would probably work in general management consulting right after the MBA, and then move into my field of interest. I would like to work in Europe after a few years in the US.
One specific question: I have a masters degree in Sociology, as I mentioned above. I entered grad school with the expectation of getting a PhD to become a college professor, but I did not think that was the right career for me so I left the program early with a Masters degree instead. I ended up staying in the program for a couple of years after the Masters degree, taking classes, working, doing research, etc. Will this count against me? (The positive side is that I focused my coursework and research on race, ethnicity and immigration, which are related to my career goals).
I want to attend Harvard, Tuck or Columbia. What do you think my chances are? What other schools do you recommend I look into?
Thank you so much for all your help!
I think you are a highly competitive candidate at the schools on your list ( assuming your GMAT ends up in the indicated range.) At the same time, these are highly competitive schools and HBS does seem to prefer younger applicants. Perhaps you want to apply to a few additional programs. Haas, Wharton, Michigan come to mind.
REgarding your grad sociology studies, adcoms understand that people sometimes take a detour before finding their professional niche. Apparently your grad studies helped clarify for you what you don't want to do while still giving you a foundation for what you do want to do. Your work experience since then confirmed your direction. I don't think it will be a problem, if you handle it well.
Most of the schools specifically ask about career decision in the past and the path you have taken to this point in time. They want to know how you determined an MBA is for you. YOur answer to those questions should directly address this issue. Explain why you decided against the PHD and what attract you to business and diversity consulting. At the same time, make clear that your studies are a valuable asset in achieving your goal.
Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools
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